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GI Cancers Symposium

San Francisco, CA—Immunotherapy for cancer has entered a new phase as researchers focus on monoclonal antibodies that target proteins in T-cells that normally prevent the immune system from responding, or “taking the brakes off the immune system.” In the future, immune therapies may be matched up with targeted therapies for even better efficacy, said Ronald Levy, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Stanford University, CA, during a keynote lecture at the 2015 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.
San Francisco, CA—Higher vitamin D levels are associated with better outcomes after treatment of newly diagnosed metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). The median overall survival (OS) was 8.1 months longer for patients with highest 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels versus lowest levels, said Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, at the 2015 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.
San Francisco, CA—Add gastric cancer to the list of cancers that respond to immunotherapy. In patients with advanced gastric cancer who express programmed cell death (PD)-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1), the humanized monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab (Keytruda), which binds to its ligands L1 and L2, demonstrated robust antitumor activity and an acceptable safety profile, according to updated results presented at the 2015 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.
San Francisco, CA—Upfront treatment with the FOLFOXIRI (fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan) regimen plus bevacizumab significantly improves survival compared with the FOLFIRI (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan) regimen plus bevacizumab in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC), said Chiara Cremolini, MD, Medical Oncologist, Tuscan Tumor Institute, Pisa, Italy, at the 2015 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. However, this regimen is not appropriate for older patients aged >75 years.

San Francisco, CA—A dual-vaccine strategy improved survival more than single vaccination of patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Data from a randomized phase 2 trial were reported by Dung T. Le, MD, Assistant Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD, at the 2014 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

San Francisco, CA—The majority of patients with stage II colorectal cancer (CRC) have a good prognosis with surgery and gain little with adjuvant chemotherapy, said Richard M. Goldberg, MD, Physician-in-Chief, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH, at the 2014 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

San Francisco, CA—Gene-expression profiling (GEP) of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may help to personalize chemotherapy for patients with pancreatic cancer by predicting how patients will respond to certain treatments, according to a study reported at the 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

The approach described combines an assay for CTCs with a pharmaco­genomic model that examines a patient’s genetic response to chemotherapy regimens.

San Francisco, CA—A new “backbone” of therapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer could be the combination of nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) and gemcitabine (Gemzar). When added to gemcitabine, weekly nab-paclitaxel improved survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer by nearly 2 months compared with gemcita­bine alone, said Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, Physician in Chief and Director of Translational Research, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, regarding the results of a large international phase 3 clinical trial.

San Francisco, CA—A randomized phase 2 study that compared panitu­mumab (Vectibix) and bevacizumab (Avastin) in the first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) showed these drugs to be similar in terms of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) benefits.

San Francisco, CA—Ramucirumab as a second-line therapy extended overall and progression-free survival in a phase 3 clinical trial of patients with metastatic gastric cancer, said Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, at the 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

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